Jen Racho is a grateful student of meditation and Buddhist practice. She has been practicing meditation since 2003 in the Japanese Soto Zen and Vipassana tradition. Her retreat experience includes a three-month practice period at Green Gulch Farm near San Francisco. She has served on the board of directors of Minnesota Zen Meditation Center and currently helps lead the People of Color and Indigenous Sitting Group at Clouds in Water Zen Center in St. Paul. Through meditation and the dharma, Jen has found a greater capacity for acceptance and love. She lives with her wife and dog in Minneapolis.
Dave Redelman has practiced at Common Ground for since 2015 with retreats from one day to fourteen days plus one six weeks totaling 160 days. His focus is on connecting and sustaining awareness centered in the body which is often a humbling experience. He volunteered during the renovation of the retreat center on work retreats with Cory and will be involved as practice leader and caretaker. In our retreats, may we investigate and develop our skillful means of solitary practice supported and energized within a kind and generous community. Dave volunteers and is on the building committee at Common Ground. He also enjoys volunteering at Seward Montessori School. Dave has canoed in the Boundary Waters for many years recently taking annual fall trips spent in retreat. After retiring from a forestry career, he lives in Minneapolis.
Nancy Boler entered the practice of meditation through yoga. She was certified as a yoga teacher in 2000 at the Kripalu School of Yoga. She has been studying and practicing Buddhadharma since 2005 when she first found Common Ground Meditation Center and has been teaching Mindful Yoga at Common Ground since 2007. Nancy also completed a two-year Mindfulness Yoga Teacher Training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and loves blending the worlds of yoga and meditation in her classes and practice. She has been leading yoga and meditation retreats for 15 years. Her aim is to do the work that connects us all and decreases suffering in this world.
Dave Halsey has been practicing meditation and has been active in the Common Ground community since 2007. He served on the Common Ground Board of Directors for six years including serving as Treasurer. He has also served on various Prairie Farm Retreat committees beginning with the search for the property in 2013 and continuing to this day. Dave was a regular Practice Leader at Prairie Farm before the renovation began and has enjoyed many days of retreat practice there and in other retreat settings. Dave deeply appreciates the wisdom gained through practice in the peaceful, natural setting at the Prairie Farm Retreat. Dave is retired, is married with two adult children and lives in Minnetonka and Tucson, AZ.
Arleta Little has been practicing meditation at Common Ground for more than 18 years and has deep gratitude for the teachings and community at the center. She was introduced to Theravada Buddhism in 1993 as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand, where she participated in intensive silent retreats at Wat Suan Mok and other temples. She has maintained both meditation and retreat as vital foundations for her spiritual practice. Buddhist teachings nourish her development along with the teachings and writings of Howard Thurman, Thich Nhat Hanh, rev. angel Kyodo williams, and others. Her practice also includes social justice work, writing, yoga and other liberation practices. She is trained in social work and public affairs and has worked in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors for over 20 years. She is a published poet and essayist and is currently working on a collection of daily meditations. She is a member of the BIPOC Sanghas for Direct Action, a network of BIPOC meditation practitioners that organized following the murder of George Floyd.